Sydney FC face crucial period after 2-0 loss

Sydney FC faces a crucial period of matches over Christmas/New Year period after going down 2-0 to Western Sydney Wanderers in front of 26,126 passionate fans at Allianz Stadium tonight.

Sydney FC faces a crucial period of matches over Christmas/New Year period after going down 2-0 to Western Sydney Wanderers in front of 26,126 passionate fans at Allianz Stadium tonight.

Goals either side of half time from Youssouf Hersi and Michael Beauchamp sealed a first Sydney Derby victory for Western Sydney Wanderers, leaving the Sky Blues to contemplate a vital four games in two weeks.

Frank Farina made two changes from last week-s victorious side in Wellington, welcoming back captain Brett Emerton and Terry Antonis in the midfield, with Ali Abbas and the suspended Terry McFlynn making way.

The atmosphere was palpable at kick-off and both teams responded with the game being played at a helter skelter tempo with chances at a premium.

The visitors were first to adjust and tested Sydney-s goal twice in the space of a minute after a quarter of an hour.

First, La Rocca burst through the heart of the Sydney midfield unchallenged but fired a tame shot past the left hand post. Shinji Ono then picked off a Janjetovic clearance and shot, only to see his attempt bounce the wrong side of the post.

The Wanderers capitalised on their bright start in the 24th minute. Youssouf Hersi latched onto a Joey Gibbs knockdown in the penalty area, and calmly turned to slot past Janjetovic and make it 1-0.

Sydney began to find their groove soon after and controlled possession in the midfield without creating many clear cut chances.

Adam Griffiths came closest to equalising before the break, but saw his glancing header go wide after meeting a Jason Culina free kick at the far post.

Neither team made any changes at the break, with Janjetovic again called upon to make the first save of the half, smartly stopping Joey Gibbs- effort from the edge of the box.

This effort was an anomaly with the Sky Blues dominating the start of the second period. Blake Powell was the first to test Covic, with a cheeky effort from 30 metres after spotting the keeper off his line.

Pascal Bosschaart was the next to test Covic, latching onto a Culina corner, forcing a smart save after a nice swivel and shot at the far post.

Sydney FC then fell further behind in the 77th minute, with Michael Beauchamp doubling the visitors lead.

The former Sky Blues defender found the net from close range, latching onto a delightful Shinji Ono cross from the left flank.

The Wanderers could have then had a third, only for Adam Griffths and then Terry Antonis to make crucial interceptions in quick succession.

Griffiths made a superb goal line clearance from a Tahj Minniecon drive from the right hand edge of the box.

From the resultant corner, Shannon Cole rose highest, Terry Antonis superbly blocking his effort at the near post.

Sydney injected marquee midfielder Alessandro Del Piero into the match on 70 minutes but it was not enough to stop the Wanderers from notching a debut Sydney Derby win.

Sydney FC now switches its attention to a clash with Newcastle Jets in Newcastle on Saturday 22 December before facing the Central Coast Mariners at Allianz Stadium on December 27.

Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (HERSI 24, BEAUCHAMP 77) d Sydney FC 0 Allianz Stadium Referee: Chris Beath Crowd: 26 176

Sydney FC: 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC, 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. FABIO, 4. Pascal BOSSCHAART, 6. Jason CULINA (10. Alessandro DEL PIERO ‘70), 7. Brett EMERTON (C), 8. Adam GRIFFITHS, 12. Blake POWELL, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 21. Yairo YAU (22. Ali ABBAS ‘59), 23. Rhyan GRANT (9. Paul REID ‘79).

Subs not used: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI

Yellow cards: Alessandro DEL PIERO 85.

Western Sydney Wanderers: 1. Ante COVIC, 2. Shannon COLE, 3. Adam D-APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Michael BEAUCHAMP, 6. Jerome POLENZ, 8. Mateo POLJAK, 13. Joseph GIBBS ( 9. Dino KERSINGER), 17. Youssouf HERSI (12. Tahj MINNIECON), 18. Iacopo LA ROCCA (10. Aaron MOOY), 21. Shinji ONO.

Subs not used: 20. Jerrad TYSON.

Yellow cards: Youssouf HERSI 15th, Iacopo LA ROCCA 42nd, Aaron MOOY 72nd